Unless you’re a seasoned professional — and even then, you always have workplace safety on your mind — construction and masonry projects require serious care and attention to oneself and one’s surroundings. Here are our top five most important construction safety tips for (relative) beginners.
1. Come to work prepared.
In the kitchen, they call it mise en place. Everything should be ‘in its place’ and ready to go. Immediately, you’re more comfortable and confident in what’s happening. But you’ll want more than a well-stocked toolbox when you begin your project. You need a well-rested, well-fed, and unhindered mind and body! Don’t skip breakfast or your regular cup of coffee.
2. Stay aware of what’s going on around you.
Whether you’re working on your own home or you’re part of a commercial crew, we can’t over-stress the need for constant vigilance. Are there children playing down the street? Does Bob know how to properly work that machine? Keep your eyes open, and anticipate problems (as best as you can!) before they create a safety risk or cause for concern.
3. Have a plan in case something goes wrong.
Do you know where the first aid kit is located? Do you have a first aid kit? Keep your cell phone close and your teammates closer. Active communication — which includes the ability to actually hear one another, if not quickly signal one another — is very important. Know who to go to and/or how to reach them for any potential dangers or accidents.
4. Don’t slack on your safety gear.
If you’re working in an active area, you need to be wearing your high-visibility gear at all times. See and be seen! Don’t neglect the full regalia, either — you’re on the job. Wear your helmet, your gloves, your steel-toed boots, and your sensory protection as needed. These items protect you, and they also signal to passersby that you’re at work and not to be interrupted or interfered with.
5. …And don’t sacrifice quality when it comes to materials and tools.
While we’re all human, we can do our best to prevent risks before they turn into accidents. We need to step up and prioritize safety before anything else. The best contractors and workers use quality products because they make their work easier and safer.
Elston Materials maintains a number of partnerships with several local and national masonry materials manufacturers to provide our customers a great value in wide variety of masonry accessories. We don’t cut corners, and neither should you. Family owned and operated, Elston Materials prides itself on excellent customer service and manufacturing a high quality product.